Classic Costa Rica

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8 days
7 nights

Travel time
11 hour direct flight with British Airways from London Gatwick

Proximity
Arrive to San Jose, Costa Rica Juan Santamaria International Airport

The classic itinerary allows you to see the highlights of Costa Rica within a week. Focusing on three hot spots, you will see plenty of wildlife and experience different cultures, climates and of course adventure!

Day 1
Arrival day - San José

Travel time: 11 hour direct flight from London Gatwick

Spend a day in San Jose and explore Costa Rica’s vibrant capital city. Take a walking tour or hop/ on off bus tour to see what this lively city has to offer and learn about Costa Rica’s rich history and culture.

In the evening visit the neighbourhood Barrio Escalante, for lively nightlife, good food and microbrewery tours.

Day 2
San José – Tortuguero

Travel Time: 4 hours by land

Start your journey from San Jose to Tortuguero on the North Caribbean Coast. Tortuguero National Park is an experience like no other. A rainforest with luxury eco lodges and surrounded by canals, you will slip in to holiday mode once you arrive there.

All eco lodges in the area offer pick up by car from your San Jose accommodation and transport you and your luggage in to Tortuguero by boat. The boat trip lasts 3 hours, however there is plenty of wildlife to see and a chance to get a glimpse of the Panama Canal.

Visit the local town ‘Town of the turtles’ and learn about the history, culture and conservation work helping to protect the sea turtles and the flora and fauna.

Day 3
Tortuguero National Park

Boat tours along the canals of Tortuguero are one of the best ways to see the region. A network of scenic, mystical waterways makes it one of the most exotic regions of Costa Rica.

More than 57 species of amphibians, 111 reptile species, 309 bird species, 2000 species of plants and 400 species of trees have been identified at Tortuguero.

Tortuguero means land of the turtles and no visit to Tortuguero is complete without watching the turtles nest. On the beaches of Tortuguero, Green sea turtles, Hawksbill turtles and Leatherback turtles nest.

Green turtles nesting season runs from July to October with the peak in August, and the Leatherback turtles nest from February to April.

Day 4
Tortuguero – Arenal

Travel time: 1 hour by plane

Fly out from Tortuguero by plane.

Flying around Costa Rica is the norm and taking a small plane ‘taxi’ from the local air strip is an experience. Leaving this way will provide you with stunning ariel views of the canals.

Positioned within Costa Rica’s fertile northern lowlands is Arenal Volcano, the volcano is an unavoidable presence whilst traveling within this part of the country. Arenal’s perfectly symmetrical shape makes it a sightseer’s dream, while its abundance of outdoor activities makes it an easy place to check things off your “must-do in Costa Rica” list.

Day 5
Arenal

Start the day with a visit to the stunning La Fortuna waterfall, a staggering drop of 70 -75 meters. As part of your morning trek take a walk all the way down and dip in to the crystal blue water before walking back up for a cool drink.

In the afternoon take a zip lining tour. The tour begins above treetops allowing you to observe the rainforest and its landscape as you make your way down.

In the evening head to one of the many hot spring pools in the area to relax your muscles. The thermal water comes direct from Arenal volcano and is said to have many beneficial properties.

Day 6
Arenal – Manuel Antonio

Travel Time: 5 hours drive

Manuel Antonio National Park is popular with tourists and there are many resorts with big rooms and pools near the national park. After a long day travelling spend the evening resting in the resort.

As you will be located on the pacific coast for dinner you must try the local fresh fish dish, ceviche in particular.

Day 7
Departure day - Manuel Antonio – San Jose – Departure

Travel time: 5 hours drive

Take a transfer back to San Jose and depart from Juan Santamaria International Airport